Do you golf? How many people have seriously asked if you are trying to make the PGA?
Perhaps you run to stay in shape. Does anyone question how many dollars an hour you’ve made jogging? Do they ask when they’ll see you in the Olympics?
But pity the honest soul who admits to spending time with paper and pen. Suddenly they must have career plans. Suddenly any success less than Suzanne Collins’ or J. K. Rowling’s seems meager. They have to defend the time they spend crafting words because it takes away from such noble pursuits as TV watching, web surfing and jigsaw puzzles. They are wasting their life examining characters, exploring values and creating worlds. They should be fishing or shopping. Doing something worthwhile, you know.
When people learn your dirty secret – that you (gasp) write in your spare time – their imagination is going to jump to book deals, signings, movie deals, etc., and maybe your thoughts go there, too. That’s fine. If you really want to write professionally, if you want to write for the market, then you are taking a different path. Your writing won’t be for your enjoyment only, but for the readers’. But don’t feel pressured into that scenario. Writing for your own enjoyment is valid. You have permission to spend your leisure hours doing it without guilt.
And don’t let any sports fan, health nut, or scrapbooker tell you otherwise.
How about you? Have you ever been afraid to tell people that you’re a writer?